Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July, 3 Ways to Reduce Plastic in Your Life, the History of Plastic, and More.

Feeling overwhelmed with the amount of single use plastic you’re throwing out? We certainly are! While we are no where near perfect or even close to living zero waste, we are working to make improvements all the time. 

Plastic Free July launched in 2011 in Australia. According to the Plastic Free Foundation:

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?

Plastic Free July is a great challenge to get you started and then keep you going. 

3 Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic in your Life this July and Beyond:

1. Start small (you may already be doing these):

Grab a reusable travel mug on the way out the door to your favorite coffee shop and use reusable bags when shopping (and not just for groceries). We like to keep our reusable mesh produce bags with our grocery bags as well so we don’t forget those either, especially when shopping at for plastic free produce at Farmers Markets

2. Dine at the restaurant:

Our takeout consumption GREW during the pandemic as we supported local restaurants, but the amount of plastic takeout food containers in our cabinet is well, a lot. Getting back into restaurants to dine-in has been fabulous for many reasons, including the reduction in plastic containers. 

Pro-tip: It’s not an easy habit to get started (and much easier if you travel with a bag or purse), but bringing reusable containers with you is a great way to bring those restaurant leftovers home instead of getting another container. Or consider finding restaurants that have more sustainable or even compostable takeout containers (we see you Red Fern & Owl House!).

3. Shop bulk sections & low waste stores:

While some grocery stores did away with their bulk section during covid, there are still options! We have loved getting in the habit of shopping the bulk sections at Abundance Co-op and Marilla’s Mindful Supplies, both in the South Wedge, though Marilla’s also has a location in Geneva! Not only do you have options for everything from rice to coffee to snacks, but you also have spices, teas, household cleaning products, personal care items and more.

Marilla’s is a great place to refill on bulk items, but it is also a low-waste/plastic free store so you grab your pantry staples, but also household cleaning products, makeup, bar shampoo, toothbrushes, sunscreen and more. What’s Good in Fairport is another great plastic free shop with a lot of every day items. 

In Buffalo? Check out Little Salmon and Renew Bath and Body. In Syracuse? Head to Green Planet Grocery, they also have a location in Oswego

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, so get out there and shop some low waste and plastic free options.


BONUS – Compost your food scraps:

Are you a City of Rochester resident? Check out the City’s FREE composting program! We signed up in April (2023)  after they re-opened registration from when they launched last year and love bringing our compost weekly to empty. They’ve already held 2 days where you can go, empty your bucket, and receive a bucket full of ready-to-go composted soil for your garden or houseplants. Not a City resident? Check out Impact Earth for Rochester composting services or do research on composting at home. It’s a great way to keep food scraps from a landfill where they won’t break down as effectively, and put them to good use.

While this may not seem like a way to reduce plastic waste, we’ve noticed a big drop in our use of garbage bags that will end up in the landfill. It has also made us realize just how much single use plastic we were throwing away since it’s almost the only thing we throw away now. And yes, we recycle as much as we can, but the topic of recycling is for another day 😉

Need More Inspiration? Check out these Videos:

We don’t always feel like we’re making a difference in our environmental impact, but “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.”  (Tanzanian Proverb). Start small and keep growing! 

Ready for Even More? Check out some Sustainable Shopping Options around Rochester:

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